Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Bodies Promised

Dear LBC Family,

Please pray for the courage and strength of Mrs Phyllis Thompson who was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer.  She has some decisions and another biopsy in front of her.  She will also be having chemo. in the near future.  She needs your prayers.

We also pray for Mrs. Judy Griffiths as well in her treatments.

We know that these bodies were not made for the long hall.  The Lord has new and improved bodies planned for each of us who are new in Jesus Christ.

Let's rally around those that are hurting as the family of God.  The first priority of prayer is their spiritual strength.  As you pray for their health, ask God to strengthen their faith in the inner man.  Pray that the Lord would give them opportunities to draw closer to Him, to be a witness for Him, to comfort others in the comfort that they receive.

We love each of you that are hurting.  The Lord cares about the fallen sparrow, and He cares for you even more!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Prayer and More

As I stated tonight in our Midweek service, I ask our LBC family to pray for two of my preacher friends with ministry concerns.  Each of these Pastors need prayer for strength.

I also want to remind you to pray earnestly for our Building Permits as our project passes through the last step of New County County Council on the first two Tuesday's of July.  This is a major big deal and it is the culmination of five years of planning.  Thank you for earnestly praying.

The Building Team and Deacons are working through our options with the Building Finances right now.  This is a very hard proceedure and needs much wisdom from the Lord.  Please pray that we will know exactly the right steps to move forward.  Everyone wants to move forward, but we are trying to be very wise and exploring all our options.  As we all know, we are not in a financial situation to build the building "turn key" (completely finished).  However, it is our goal and prayer to break ground and get started by the end of 2010.  God can do anything and has been strong for us up to this point.  The banks are weighing in on what they can do right now and what they believe we can afford comfortably.  Pray, Pray, Pray!


Friday, June 18, 2010

A Sweet and Sour Departure

To the friends of Lighthouse that may not yet know  - our Youth and Administration Pastor, Tim Valiante has accepted the position of Senior Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Millville, Pa.

It is with sadness and joy that I personally say goodbye to PV.  I first met Tim when he came with his Catholic background family to church at Bensalem Baptist where I was the Youth Pastor.  Tim came to youth group with his older brother John and then his younger sister Andrea aka "Youthgirl".  Tim accepted Christ under Pastor Love's preaching and got involved in the youth group and later "Preacher Boys" when he enrolled in the Christian School.  One of my first memories of Tim was taking him along with me to minister to a young man in our church who was in a rehabilitation home.

It wasn't long before Tim was preaching as a high schooler and showing the potential of ministry.  It was also my privilege to coach him in soccer where I enjoyed yelling at him regularly to make the most of his above average soccer skills.  He had a background in travel soccer and was the most valuable player on our team in his time.  Those were good times.  He put many a goal in the back of the net.  Tim went off to Northland and did an internship at BBC one summer.  Again it was my joy to push him.

When Tim graduated, became engaged, and wasn't sure of his next move - the Lord directed our paths together and of course he came to Lighthouse to minister.  I will never forget when he came to interview.  Sarah flew in from Arizona and that was the snowstorm of 2003.  Tim and Sarah (yet unmarried) were stuck at our house for 3 days.  Good Times.

Of course we hired him and that was 7+ years ago.  Tim joined me each day in the office at the warehouse and Sarah became the secretary when Georgia "retired".  Those were the struggling first years of LBC and the ministry of the first pastors.  They were not simple days and there was much work in this pioneer ministry.  PV was an invaluable asset in the renovation of the building and the organization of our ministries.

PV brought a depth to the teen ministry in his teaching and his "even keel" temperment.  I am a pusher, he is a plodder.  I am an alarmist, he is laidback.  It has been good years and I will miss him greatly. 

We enjoyed many theologic discussions and thinking through vague Greek meanings and vernacular.  He is ready and will do a great job as the Lord continues to use him as and instrument in the hand of the Master.  It will be the joy and shock of his life to sit "in the big chair".

We look ahead with anticipation at whom the Lord will bring to take up the needs of Youth and perhaps eventually administration at LBC.  Pastor Pritt is a great help to LBC and along with Jeff in the office and eager volunteers - we will keep everything afloat until the Lord fills the need.

The Valiante's last Sunday is July 11th.  We have a large fellowship planned and we will be giving them a gift from the church as well as having a "card basket" and "money tree" to bid them Godspeed.  Please let them know how much you have appreciated their ministry.  I still have cards and letters from past ministries that mean the world to me.

This will be a sweet and sour departure, but we praise the Lord for His perfect will.  Please feel free to leave comments on this blog to the Valiantes.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Unprompted Love

These days, I am thrilling in the love of God that came to us without our prompting.  What I mean by that is that God's love is not like our love, and that is what makes it amazing. See - the love that we are familiar with on this earth is love that sees something in someone and responds to it.  God's love is not like this.

Don't think you understand this easily - think through it.  I began to love Amy twenty years ago because I saw in her things I admired and was attracted to.  She was beautiful.  She was very smart.  She was kind, etc.  SEE?  My love was a response to things I had seen in her.

Now, God's love is not like this at all.  Stop and consider that He CHOSE to love you, despite NOT being attracted to you.  In fact, He is repulsed by His rebellious creation.  He was repulsed by your sin, your disobedience, your attempts at self righteousness.  This is how He found you when He came to you and loved you.  When He called you to be saved, He called you because He decided to, not because He saw anything that He liked in you.  This is why the wind of salvation is impossible to predict.  People of any status, condition, class, etc. are perfect candidates to be saved.  God is not a respecter of persons because the love of salvation comes from His side totally.

I think you probably agree with me on the surface, but don't realize that some of the things we say in evangelism conflict with this.  We (general Christianity) refer to people "seeking" for God.  WHAT?!?  This is certainly different than what my Bible says.  God found us running away from Him.  This is why His love is so amazing.  It is generated from His side.  If you find a "seeker", it is only because God's love is calling them.  He is turning them around when they are running from Him.  Amazing love.  If this really sinks in, you will have a "precarious moment" when you realize that you should not be saved - there is no reason you generated for God to save you.  If you get this, it will take your breath, your chest will tighten and you will realize how close you came to hell.  You will say with the old Hymn writer, "Lord, why was I a guest?"

If we understand this Biblically, things like "feeling like God is far away" doesn't make sense anymore.  If He initiated His love toward you in eternal salvation, the constancy of love is sustained by Him, not you.  If He decided to love you as an enemy, He much more continues to love you through your Christian struggles and failures.  He sustains the love, not you.  Not your performance.

Lately, I am thrilling in the unprompted love of God.